September 11, 2009 1:14:00 PM
Surpassing its historic high numbers last year, Mississippi State is announcing a fall semester enrollment of 18,601, a 4.4 percent increase over 2008.
"We''re pleased that so many students see the value of a degree from Mississippi State, where they can pursue any career option they desire," said university President Mark Keenum.
Looking to celebrate its 132nd year in February, the land-grant institution recently was ranked in the Top 20 of Forbes Magazine''s "best college buys."
"This prestigious publication recognized our university as one of the best when it comes to giving students ''the most quality for each tuition dollar spent,''" Keenum said. "We''re committed to continuing to provide the high level of academic instruction that enabled Mississippi State to earn this designation."
Fall enrollment included more than 17,900 on the Starkville campus and 700 at the Meridian campus.
The College of Arts and Sciences remains the largest academic unit, with 4,533 students, followed, respectively, by the education, engineering and business colleges.
"We''re very proud that our ACT average also has shown an increase, to 23.7," Keenum said. "There is no question that Mississippi State is attracting the best and the brightest."
Current MSU enrollment includes:
--A student body that is 19.8 percent African-American.
--75 percent of students from Mississippi.
--Some 51 percent of students are male, and nearly 49 percent female.
--A graduation rate that is 61 percent, the highest at a Mississippi university.
Fall enrollment also marks a record high for MSU''s Shackouls Honors College, which currently has more than 1,400 students.
"This year''s group is one of the most diverse we''ve ever seen," said Shackouls director Nancy McCarley.
Last spring, the honors college produced MSU''s 12th Barry Goldwater Scholar. Senior wildlife biology major Mitch Weegman also is a member of the varsity track team.
"We have outstanding students with outstanding accomplishments in every discipline on our campus," Keenum said. "Mississippi State will continue to recruit students aggressively in pursuit of our goal of an enrollment of 22,000 by 2015."
For more information about Mississippi State University, see http://www.msstate.edu/.